An Open Letter On Trans and Intersexed Issues

From GentillyGirl

Dear Sir or Ma’am,

I writing this because I’m part of a community, and an activist for, those who are continually forgotten or legislated against in this country. This community is called Transgendered. Yes, those of us who have Gender Identities that don’t match our Birth records.

Dear Sir or Ma’am,

I writing this because I’m part of a community, and an activist for, those who are continually forgotten or legislated against in this country. This community is called Transgendered. Yes, those of us who have Gender Identities that don’t match our Birth records.

I’m doing this because I am one example of the most extreme versions of this community: I was born with all of the parts. I have ovaries, a uterus, a sewn-up vagina, and a man-made penis. My “role” in Life was determined by people that never asked me who I saw myself as. I didn’t get to state my preferences. I got “assigned” before I was a year old.

Now I’m living my life as I should have… as myself and female.

I’m also doing this because I believe the values that our Founders enshrined in our Constitution and the Bill of Rights. I believe each and every citizen of this Country is endowed with Rights to be who and what they are. There is no middle ground on this. These are our rights as Human Beings under our country’s Constitution and our Bill of Rights. This is the gift of the Founders to each and everyone of us. I respect their work greatly. It is why I can wake up everyday… and can know that I live in the greatest country on the planet.

To support my belief in this country and the reasons for our kind of Culture, I gave 9+ tears of my life to the Military. I’m am very skilled in Physics, Chemistry, Fluid Flow Dynamics, Geology, History and Anthropology. I became everything that was asked of us decades ago. We were asked to become the best and the brightest. I lived up to that, not just because I had interests, but because I believed in our Nation. My Homeland asked for this and I felt that I could not ignore the call.

Now, there are two Bills floating through Congress concerning citizens such as myself.

The bills are labeled as ENDA, the Employment Non-Discrimination Act. One is H.R. 3685 (covering only the LGB folks), the other is H.R. 3686 which covers us Trans folks. Both of these bills deal only with employment issues. Originally both were covered under H.R. 2015, but certain interests didn’t want my kind in the bill.) Right now, institutionalized discrimination is a hurdle that these bills must pass, but the one that deals with Trans folks has the worst chance of passing.

More is needed: like housing issues, and safety in Public. You see, coming out as Gay or Lesbian involves only who you sleep with. There is no L, G or B on your I.D.s. Unless you announce it to the world, nobody really notices, but for a Trans person, we change our clothing, gender and our names. We must, by the criteria of the Benjamin Standards, live in our chosen gender for at least a year, and that means employment and housing discrimination. During what we call Transition we cannot hide. Every one can see what we are doing, and we get hurt.

That’s the danger for our folk: there are so many people out there that cannot accept our Realities. Religionists curse us, others just think we are freaks or child-molesters. Using the restroom in public can be a horrible adventure. Getting pulled over for a traffic infraction can make things even worse. Much of this boils down to intolerance of the “different”, and/or a lack of education concerning Biological realities. (More info on the biological situation and history, is here (http://www.transsexual.org/what.html). I’m rewriting my site right now so this will have to suffice.)

Many of my sisters work in the biggest corporations in the country… some work for companies that are involved in National Security, many are engineers and others are in the financial markets. The bulk of us just work “normal” jobs. Our community is valued for it’s intelligence and tenacity. When one has to survive and become under the B/S Societal norms, you’ve got to be the best. (Many of our kind never make their 30th B’Day.)

I have been hurt because of being Trans in the Past, but that hasn’t been the case for several years. I am here in New Orleans, a very tolerant place, and my partner and I own our home. We have good friends, and no they aren’t all LGBT folks. We live up to my statement of years ago; “Prove who we are, and what we are not”. That has earned us respect.

To heal the wound of Gender Identity, we have had to become ourselves, and that means understanding what it means to be Human. Our little tribe is usually kind and thoughtful. We work our tushes off to just BE in the face of ignorance-based discrimination. It’s all that we can do.

In summary, what I’m asking you for is to come to an understanding of Trans folk, and maybe let your Congresspeople know that we do need protections against prejudice and hate. To speak out when some people condemn us. To not be afraid of us. “Only Humans cry… only Humans sing and laugh and bleed and dream”. That’s exactly what my tribe does.

We are not a threat, but we are being threatened. Please think about this. It’s the Human thing to do.

Be Blessed!

Morwen Madrigal,

The GentillyGirl

New Orleans

27 comments

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    • pfiore8 on February 13, 2008 at 2:54 pm

    GentillyGirl

    we’re all some expression of myriad possibilities in the human experience

    lovely. interesting. dragging us further into consciousness.

    we won’t talk about the brutes among us today, okay? i need a break from them.

    so let’s stick with how wonderful and surprising the world is and how amazing it is for people, born in the wrong bodies, to find the courage to correct nature. that’s pretty amazing, imo.

    that strength is an asset we all need in figuring out how to fight for a better, more equitable world. we could take a lesson from such an incredible journey.

    thanks for your essay.

    • frosti on February 13, 2008 at 3:52 pm

    that I have given a lot of thought to over the last couple of days.  I love your courage.

  1. … an embarrassment of riches!

    The best and the brightest … your writing gives ample evidence of both.

    To have to worry about where you can live, to worry about getting hurt because of who you are … this has no place in the United States of America.  To be threatened because of who you are when you are no threat at all … this has no place in the United States of America.

    The more that is written about this simple reality, the more we will become educated and help to fight back when folks are threatened for being who they are.

    Thanks for this, GG.

    ,

  2. I read this early today while I was rushing out.  Managed to reccommend it, but that didn’t seem like sufficient acknowledgement of what you did here.  So I wanted just to drop this comment and thank you.  This is something that needs to be read widely.

    • Diane G on February 13, 2008 at 9:55 pm

    I told you so, Morwen, but heh, I’m a bitch. I told you so!!! Neener!

    I told you you would find a home in this community, and am so glad you cross at my house too.

    Your writings, your stories are just fucking good not to be shared, your message stridently needs to be heard by as many ears as possible.

    Luv ya!

    Diane

    • kj on February 13, 2008 at 9:55 pm

    for some education on this. For instance, I assumed I knew the basics of what a “Transition” might entail, but have never heard of the Benjamin Standards. Would you like to have phone calls made re: H.R. 3686? If so, say the word!  

    • pico on February 13, 2008 at 11:00 pm

    There was a lot of flak over the non-inclusion in ENDA, and we’ve discussed it a bit here, as well.  The queer community is very split over the issue, although I’m happy to say that most activists I know are passionate about not accepting ENDA until everyone is included (I wish that “most activists” included the constantly-waffling HRC, but they’re trying to protect their position as an ostensibly influential organization, so they’ve been the last to say anything about ENDA’s travails).  

    Glad to have you writing about this.  I used to run an queer news roundup on here, but I haven’t had time to maintain it lately (it’ll be back up and running by summer, I hope).  The more other people bring in their personal perspectives, the more I learn.  Thank you.  

    • plf515 on February 15, 2008 at 12:30 pm

    that diaries like this need to be written.

    You wrote it well, but I wish you hadn’t needed to.  Because, frankly, I don’t care if you’re male or female, or intersexed, or transgendered, or any other variation; lesbian or gay or straight or bi or any other variation.  Doesn’t matter to me, and I don’t see why it matters to anyone else, except those who are interested in you, romantically and sexually.  

    I’m straight, but I try not to be narrow.

    I’m square, but I try not to be stiff.

    • Edger on February 15, 2008 at 1:00 pm

    Because many other people have a problem. They are too insecure to be human. Which makes them human too, I guess..

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